7 best fixes for AirPods not connecting to Mac

7 best fixes for AirPods not connecting to Mac

Connecting a pair of AirPods to an iPhone or Mac is often a ridiculously easy affair. Apple deserves a lot of credit for making the process so transparent. As with everything, however, there are times when you will experience issues getting your AirPods to work properly.


Featured Air Pods Not Connecting to Mac

Some time ago, we talked about handling AirPods connectivity issues on iPhone. This time we are focusing on the Mac.

If your AirPods are failing to connect to your Mac, there are several troubleshooting tips that can help you fix things. Let’s start.

1. Check compatibility

If you’re having trouble setting up your AirPods with a Mac for the first time, it’s worth checking out for compatibility issues. Depending on the AirPods model, a Mac must have the following versions of macOS installed to establish a connection.

AirPods Pro – macOS 10.15.1 or later

AirPods (2nd generation) – macOS 10.14.4 or later

AirPods (1st generation) – macOS Sierra 10.12 or later

If you’re not sure which version of macOS is running on your Mac, open the Apple menu and select About This Mac. You should see the relevant information listed under the Overview tab by default in the window that appears.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 1

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 1

If your Mac falls below the required compatibility threshold, go to Apple menu> System Preferences> Software Update to update macOS. If you’re using macOS High Sierra or earlier, open the App Store and click the Updates tab instead.

2. Activate Bluetooth

Often times we overlook the most trivial things. In this case, check if your Mac has its Bluetooth enabled. To do this, start by clicking on the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar.

Note: On macOS Big Sur, you might want to open Control Center to check the Bluetooth status.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 2

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 2

If Bluetooth appears to be turned off, click Turn Bluetooth On. Or activate the switch next to Bluetooth. Your AirPods should then connect automatically. You can also connect manually by pointing at your AirPods and selecting the Connect option.

3. Charge AirPods

If you’ve left your AirPods out of the charging case for a few hours, they might stop charging. Try to put them in the case for at least 15 minutes. You should also charge the charging case itself if the status indicator does not light up.

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4. Restart Mac

Restarting your Mac can also help resolve AirPods connectivity issues. Before you do that, however, place both AirPods in the charging case.

After your Mac restarts, remove your AirPods again. If they don’t connect automatically, open the Bluetooth menu and try to connect manually.

5. Forget and reconnect

Removing your AirPods from the list of connected Bluetooth devices on your Mac and attempting to reconnect them can also help.

Step 1: Put your AirPods in their charging case.

2nd step: Display the Bluetooth menu and select Open Bluetooth preferences.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 5

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 5

Step 3: Click the “X” icon on the right side of your AirPods, then click Forget Device.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 6

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 6

Step 4: Open the charging case. Once your AirPods appear in the Bluetooth Preferences pane, click Connect.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 8

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 8

Did it help you? Otherwise, read on.

6. Reset AirPods

If the above fixes don’t work, try resetting your AirPods. The process is quite similar to removing and reconnecting a pair of AirPods, except for a few additions.

Step 1: Start by putting your AirPods in their charging case. Wait 30 seconds and open the lid.

2nd step: Select Open Bluetooth preferences from the Bluetooth menu to display the Bluetooth Preferences pane.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 5

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 5

Step 3: Click the “X” icon next to your AirPods, then click Forget Device to remove them from your Mac.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 6

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 6

Step 4: With the cover open, press and hold the setup button on the back of the charging case for about 15 seconds. Release it when the status light on it starts blinking amber.

Step 5: Close the lid, then reopen it. Click Connect once the AirPods appear in Bluetooth preferences.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 8

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 8

Your Mac probably shouldn’t have any issues connecting to your AirPods after this.

7. Deactivate automatic switching

Do you have an iPhone with iOS 14 installed? If so, your AirPods will disconnect from your Mac and automatically switch to your iPhone if you start playing music on it.

To prevent this from happening, open the Settings app on your iPhone and select Bluetooth. Connect to your AirPods (if you haven’t already) and tap the i-shaped icon next to it. Next, select the option Connect to this iPhone. On the next screen, select When last connected to this iPhone.

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 3

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 3
Air Pods won't connect to Mac 4

Air Pods won't connect to Mac 4

This also applies to any iPad that starts iPadOS 14. If you have one around, you might want to repeat what you just did to prevent your AirPods from automatically switching to your iPad.

Repair connection

Hope you ended up connecting your AirPods to your Mac. If the above fixes don’t work (and you can’t connect them to your iPhone as well), you may be dealing with a set of broken AirPods. If so, it’s best to make an appointment at the local Genius Bar.

Then:

Looking for AirPods alternatives? Check Out These 6 Great AirPods Alternatives That Don’t Cost That Much.

Last updated on Oct 27, 2020

The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.

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